12 Tips to Shoot Video Like a Pro. Tip #1: Make a Shot List or Draw a Storyboard

Planning ahead can change your shoot from poor to excellent. After reading through all these tips of what to shoot, you’ll have a better idea of the specific shots you want. Here is an example of a shot list:

  • Wide Shot (WS) of subject (S) walking to car, opening door, getting in and closing door, then driving off.

  • Close Up (CU) of door handle, hand enters frame, opens car door and S gets in

  • From inside car: CU hands with keys turning ignition

  • Profile of subject driving – hold for a long time

  • CU of mirror with S visible in it

  • Through windshield of road

  • CU of hand(s) on steering wheel, maybe making a turn

  • From back seat – S driving, pulling over at destination

There may be many other shots that go on a shot list depending on your location. (See tip #6: Plan to shoot a lot of B-Roll.)

For some shoots, you have a story planned and are in charge of “actors,” so you can draw a storyboard ahead of time. One reason for a storyboard is so that you as the director can indicate exactly what you want another person, your camera operator, to shoot. You can see from my amateur drawings that you don’t have to be an artist; stick figures are fine. Adding a note under each drawing adds clarification.

 For more on preparing to shoot, contact Lisa at [email protected].

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